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The Wilderness: New & Selected Poems, 1980-2016

The Wilderness: New & Selected Poems, 1980-2016

by Maurya Simon


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The Wilderness: New and Selected Poems compiles more than thirty years of Maurya Simon’s poetic oeuvre. Her poems combine compelling investigations of the natural world with a sense of spirituality and a modern-day metaphysical sensibility. Simon's writing is lucid and deeply moving, as well as being enriched by history, the classics, and visual art. These are poems that should be read, reread, and savored for the wisdom they impart and for their rich insights into the human condition. This beautiful book is illustrated with seventeen evocative, color-saturated paintings from the WEAVERS SERIES by Los Angeles artist, Baila Goldenthal.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781597096102
Publisher: Red Hen Press
Publication date: 04/30/2018
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

After watching a royal wedding on the streets of Paris at age 5, Maurya Simon scrawled her first poem. Decades later, she’s still at it, with an award-winning oeuvre that muses on everything from the origin of parentheses (in her chapbook A Brief History of Punctuation) to what lies beyond death (answer: “A fever of unknowing, a match-head struck in the darkness of the void. A blue door without a handle that suddenly swings open”). Simon, a UC Riverside professor emerita who was raised in Western Europe and Hermosa Beach by an artist mother and musicologist father, has also created monoprints and composed an opera libretto. She’s now working on a young adult detective novel about a diamond heist. Other new projects include a memoir about her dad, who taught at Cal Poly Pomona, and her 11th volume of poetry.

Table of Contents

On the Poems of Maurya Simon 15

Questions My Daughters Asked Me, Answers I Never Gave Them 19

From The Enchanted Room

The Sibyl 25

The Origin of Death 27

The Soldier 28

Tooth Fairy 30

Snails 32

Tat Tvam Asi 33

The Bearer's Son 35

Firewalking 37

Madras Insomnia 39

Epitaph 40

From Days of Awe

Clothes That Wear Me 43

Breakwater 47

Boy Crazy 49

Dream Babies 51

For Naomi 52

Contusion 53

Theme and Variations 55

Survival 56

King Midas's Daughter 57

Madras Lament 58

From Speaking in Tongues

Origins 63

From The Golden Labyrinth

Want 81

Dharma 82

Karma 85

Leah in the Vale of Tears 86

The Ugly Dog 87

Alex in Hindustan 90

Banded Krait 92

Elegy in a Snowstorm 94

Meditation at Twilight 98

Bangalore Lullaby 99

From A Brief History of Punctuation

I The Creation of the Question Mark 103

II Ellipses 104

III The Inception of the Colon 106

IV The Era of the Period 108

V The Invention of the Comma 109

VI Parentheses: A Bestiary 111

VII A Hyphenated Rondo 113

VIII The Birth of Dashes 114

IX Claiming the Apostrophe 117

X The Semicolon: A Totem 118

From Ghost Orchid

The Ravens 121

The Search 123

The Fallen Angel 125

The Rapture 126

Black Haloes 127

All Souls' Day 129

Angels 130

Unfinished Psalm 132

An Unkempt Brilliance I Fear but Cannot Name 133

Transubstantiation 137

Benediction 139

From Weavers

I Sisters 143

II The Wedding Dress 145

III Rapture 147

IV Madrigal 149

V The Virgin and the Widow 152

VI The House of Women 154

VII The Healer 157

VIII Hie Saint 159

IX Epiphany 162

X The Unfolding 165

XI The Dreamer 168

XII The Magician 170

XIII The Outcast 173

XIV The Lover 176

XV Benediction 178

From Cartographies

Snow 183

Second Born 187

Purview 188

Dulce et Decorum Est 190

City of Angels 192

Bark with Authority 194

El Día de los Muertos 196

The Dolphin 198

Waste Management 199

A Small Elegy for a Big Dog 200

Marriage Vow 201

Black Widow 202

The Voyage 203

Ten Versions of Ruin and Repair 204

From The Raindrop's Gospel: The Trials of St, Jerome and St. Paula

Genealogies 211

Chronologies of the Lives of St. Jerome and St. Paula 212

Father of Punctuation 217

A Matriarch of Rome 219

Paula's Tale: Mourning 221

Hieronymus and the Lion 224

Obiter Dictum 226

St. Paula among the Marigolds 228

Deo Gratias 229

The Lost Diaries 231

St, Jerome in the Chalcis Desert 234

Caput Mundi 235

St. Jerome Rests from His Labors 237

St. Jerome in Decline 239

St. Jerome Alone 242

A Letter from the Abbess Paula the Younger 244

New Poems (2010-2016)

River Lamps 249

The Women of Juarez 250

The Prisoner 251

This Lion 252

Egypt Liberated 254

I Won't Pretend 255

If I Could 256

Baila-Ma 257

Gone 259

Mother My Ship 260

Martin Falk's Last Photographs 261

The Inheritance 263

Dear Old Dad 264

The Father of All Things 266

Elegy at Midnight 267

The Consolations of Love 269

Dog Sleeping 270

Late November Lament 271

Dawn over the Tiber River 272

Notes and Dedications 275

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